Community Futures Development Corporations help pine beetle-impacted communities access funding for the Community Economic Diversification Initiative

Dawson Creek, b.C. — The Community Futures Development Corporation of Peace Liard is pleased to announce that Western Economic Diversification Canada has launched a Request for Expressions of Interest for the Community Economic Diversification Initiative (CEDI) today.

?Community Futures Development Corporations across British Columbia will be working with pine beetle-impacted communities to help them apply for funding through the Community Economic Diversification Initiative,? said Bob Wright, Chair of the Community Futures Development Association of B.C. ?We are pleased to work with our long-time partner, Western Economic Diversification Canada, to make this program a success.?

The Community Economic Diversification Initiative is an important component of the federal Mountain Pine Beetle Program. It is a two-year federal contribution program aimed at helping to diversify the economic foundation of forest-dependent communities and contribute to their long-term stability.

Western Economic Diversification Canada will deliver the initiative on behalf of the federal government. Working with Community Futures Development Corporations of BC and other key stakeholders, the Department will invest over $33 million in projects that support economic growth, job creation and future sustainability of communities adversely affected by the widespread beetle infestation.

Community Futures Development Corporations from 21 pine beetle-impacted communities across British Columbia will provide outreach and information on CEDI and the application process including coaching and mentoring for those clients who require assistance with their Expression of Interest.

Quote from CFDC Manager Sue Kenny

?Community Futures Peace Liard is pleased to provide this service to our region. We hope to see some good initiatives come through the call for expressions of interest.?

The Request for Expressions of Interest is the first stage of the CEDI application process. Western Economic Diversification Canada will review each Expression of Interest and rank it according to pre-established assessment criteria. For more information on eligibility, application deadlines and how to submit an Expression of Interest, please review the completion guide available at: www.wd.gc.ca

Applicants will receive notification upon receipt of their Expression of Interest and will subsequently be notified of their status in the process. Western Economic Diversification Canada will contact applicants with the highest-ranking Expressions of Interest to request a more detailed proposal containing supporting documentation and information. The proposal will then proceed through the Department?s regular approval process, which may or may not lead to final project approval. All projects must be completed by March 31, 2009.

Established in 1992, the Community Futures Development Association of B.C. (CFDA of BC) represents 34 individual Community Futures offices located throughout rural British Columbia. The offices foster local entrepreneurship, and promote, coordinate and implement a variety of community development initiatives within their respective communities. They also offer a variety of entrepreneurial programs, business counselling, loan programs and business information to community members interested in expanding or starting their own businesses.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is a department of the Government of Canada that works in partnership with the provinces, industry associations and communities to stimulate and encourage diversification of the western economy, as well as to represent the interests of the West in national decision-making.